The population of Graz is growing, infrastructure is being expanded, and new residential and business buildings are being built all the time. This dynamic development is backed up by a modern city administration. More than seven thousand municipal employees are hard at work every day for the people of Graz, and the range of their duties is wide: sovereign authorities handle procedures and issue official decisions. In Graz, the water, energy and distant heating supply works just as smoothly as refuse collection and waste water treatment. The nursery schools, swimming baths, the funicular, public transport, the children's museum, the Stadtmuseum, the trade fair centre, and the airport - all of these facilities, and many more, are all part of the city.
We ask ourselves, "Are we doing our work well?"
Because the city administration and the municipal corporation strive to achieve high-quality performance, they are always critical of their own activities. "Are we doing our work well? Can we do it more efficiently? And how do the citizens notice that we are trying?" Questions such as these are typical of the work of the city administration and their staff.
And, "How can we make intelligent savings?"
While other countries and local authorities often debate the necessity of reforms for years on end, the responsible politicians in Graz started getting down to business very early on in view of a precarious budget situation. The structures of the city administration and its subsidiaries were completely reorganised at the start of 2011. The aim of these measures was to consolidate the budget while upholding the high quality of services. Meanwhile, it has become clear that intelligent saving - i.e. cutting costs while maintaining services - is possible. In 2010, Graz had the current budget back in the black for the first time.
"Can we co-operate better?"
But there are other positive effects of the organisational reform, too: the more than 7,000 employees working in the city administration and the thirty or so municipal organisations and companies are pulling together more than ever before. They co-operate extensively, developing a joint goal of rendering the best possible services for the population of Graz. One manifestation of this commitment is the single corporate image: today, all municipal service providers share a common logo and uniform corporate design - from maintenance of green spaces to trams, from Graz Tourismus to the Stadtmuseum and the classical municipal administration.